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Yahoo Partners on Connected TV

Billed as "the future of television," access to streaming movies, sports, and news is being rolled out in 40 European countries.

Yahoo has amped up its Internet TV strategy, partnering with European television manufacturer Vestel Group to create Yahoo Connected TV. The effort will enable consumers in 40 European countries to launch TV widgets or apps, giving them direct access to multiple forms of Internet content on-demand.

According to the possible scenarios laid out by Yahoo, the widgets will enable TV-watching consumers to access streamed movies on Coolroom. They'll also be able to catch up on sports scores via BILD mein Klub, receive local and global news reports from Sky News and BILD News, shop on eBay, listen to music on Putpat, connect with friends on Facebook and Twitter, and play games on PlayJam.

"This is the future of television," Rich Riley, managing director of Yahoo EMEA, said in a statement.

Yahoo's partner, OEM and ODM Vestel Group, is a Turkish company which manufactures consumer electronics, white-label goods and digital products, and represents 16% of the LCD TV market and 25% of the digital set-top-box market in Europe. Yahoo's partnership with Vestel Group is the online media company's latest foray into Internet TV, a strategy the company , began in early 2009.

Yahoo already partners on Connected TV with a number of other TV manufacturers such as LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio.

Hoping to lure additional content, publishers can easily create widgets using new Web-based development interfaces and the Yahoo TV Widget Development Kit, according to Yahoo. Currently the TV Widget Engine is available in 16 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, Yahoo said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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